Welcome back to the EWF Blog for 2022! We’re looking forward to another year of sharing great writing, interviews, tips and more on the blog. Today, we’re kicking things off with a chat with our latest addition to the EWF Team – Greer Clemens, our new Program Coordinator! 

Hi Greer! Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi EWF Blog! I’m Greer, and I’m a writer, arts worker and musician living on Wurundjeri land. I studied Creative Writing and Screen and Cultural Studies at uni and have spent the last few years writing about music and writing poetry (when I wasn’t working in hospitality and customer service). I studied poetry at uni but am mostly published as a music journalist and critic, focusing on pop music, which is one of my favourite things to talk and read about. 

What drew you to apply for a role at EWF? 

I’ve been to events at EWF over the years and have always really loved what the festival does. Especially in These Strange And Uncertain Times, the last two years’ festivals have offered a pathway into so many conversations that have felt comforting, challenging, eye-opening, entertaining. I was an artist at the festival in 2016 when I was 21, only a year after my first piece of music criticism was published, and it was such an affirming opportunity to be programmed alongside artists I admired. It’s wild that I’ll have a part in offering a bunch of emerging writers the same opportunity this year! I love that EWF wants writers to connect with readers, but also with each other.

What are you looking forward to as our new Program Coordinator?

Genuinely… everything. I’m excited to read really widely and do a tonne of research in order to help program the festival, and then I’ll get to meet with artists and hear about their ideas, and then I can’t wait to actually see the festival come to life. There’s always something thrilling about discovering new work and hearing ideas expressed in a way you haven’t before, and that’s what I’m most looking forward to.

What do you do outside of EWF? 

I’ve recently become someone who goes to the pool to swim laps, after quitting swimming as a teen, so I have been doing that a bit. In the last two years I’ve really missed going to the movies all the time, but have managed to fit in a few when it’s been safe. I have parasocial relationships with 2-3 different lifestyle YouTubers, sing and sometimes play guitar, lie on the floor in different positions to try to fix my chronic pain, and listen to CDs and drive my friends around in my tiny car. I also play a lot of Zelda (just realised my fourth parasocial relationship is with a Zelda YouTuber who loves the word “gargantuan”) and Mario Kart.

How’s your summer been? What have you been reading over the holidays?

My summer has been weird in the way that everyone’s has been, but I have been reading a bunch! Right now I’m reading The Life of the Mind by Christine Smallwood which I’m one third through and really enjoying, it’s slow and dynamic at the same time. I read Nostalgia Has Ruined My Life by Zarah Butcher-McGunnigle in one sitting at the beach, and Dropbear by Evelyn Araluen over a couple of days straight after. I’ve been trying to get back to writing short fiction and so have been reading new stories and re-reading old favourites to get a feel for them: I’ve read or re-read things by Curtis Sittenfeld, Mary Gaitskill, Brandon Taylor, Paige Clark, Lucia Berlin, Amy Hempel, lots of others I’m forgetting. I also read a lot of music criticism, and my favourite critic Jenn Pelly made me cry with this year in review and her obituary for Ronnie Spector. Also, every summer I remember how much I love the game show Jeopardy!, so I’ve been reading all their white-text-on-blue-background clues.

What are your hopes and dreams for 2022?

I’m scared to get too earnest with this question so some small-scale ones: get better at parking, cement my position in the Medium Lane, read and write more, and (not as small-scale) see #EWF22 come together!